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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Remembering to Forget. Dammit.


I’ve something to confess: I am concentrating on forgetting to smoke.

Have you ever seen me quit smoking? I am, as the old joke goes, so good at it that I do it all the time.

I’ve been thinking about this, my lack of commitment in the “I quit” arena and my woeful inability to remember for more than a couple months at a time that I don’t want to smoke any more.

And I think I’ve got it figured out: It’s the lack of fanfare accompanying the decision to quit. It’s too short lived.

I mean, think of it. You might get a word of encouragement from your mother, maybe a coworker notices. But am I alone here in thinking there could be more hoopla?

There’s so little of that: hoopla.

I can hear you shaking your head from here and I know! I know. The health benefits!

In yoga the other day, I held on to an “om” far longer than usual.

I cough less.

I’m quite certain that, going forward, my fingers have markedly less chance of smelling like an ashtray.

I have a couple extra bucks.

These are all good things.

But it’s hard, isn’t it? Those cigarettes were mine, they were my little friends: twenty cool slim white friends. With orange heads. That I lit on fire and pulled through my lungs.

Still. It was at one time possible, particularly if there was a Happy Hour going on, that you and I would have had a conversation wherein I earnestly told you that the best pack of cigarettes to have was one that was three-quarters of a way full: a couple are gone, sure, but now they’re easier to pull out of the pack, and anyway, there’s plenty left. Plenty enough to share.

And now?

Now we’ll never have that conversation. And I am saddened.

All because I have to keep forgetting to smoke.

47 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I want you to picture a big neon 'Ta Da' flashing over your head every time you forget to smoke. I mean, who doesn't love neon?

Sioux said...

If that would only work with chocolate, I'd be thrilled...

haphazardlife said...

Keep forgetting. You can do it!

That gentleman's lady said...

Aw :) Will you make friends with the E-cig, or is that betraying your old friends?

Eva Gallant said...

Here's Hoopla!

PEARL HAS QUIT SMOKING! YAHOO! YAHOO! BRING OUT THE BOOZE. LET'S CELEBRATE: PEARL IS SMOKE FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOOPLA!

Simply Suthern said...

You didnt get the little band that plays "I just want to Celebrate" everytime you forget to light up?

Pearl said...

Thank you, everyone. I think that I am well on my way to being properly hoopled.

:-)

And "I Just Want to Celebrate (yeah, yeah! another day of living...)" was played at my wedding reception for the "grand march". :-)

An e-cig might not be a bad idea, really...

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

lol at Eva!

I walked into work from this very long, very rum-soaked weekend thinking I need to forget to drink. I admire your ability to quit - even for short periods. You go, Pearlie.

HOOPLA!

jabblog said...

You're at the end of the beginning - now you have to get to the beginning of the end - and you will.

Camille said...

I feel your pain Pearl. I too must keep forgetting I no longer smoke. I miss my little smoking rituals. But I do not miss being stinky, I do not miss standing outside in all weather with the other outcasts, and I really do not miss the expense. Hoopla for Pearl...wahhoo to you...good job! Keep forgetting.

terlee said...

Two years, 4 months--and yesterday, out of the blue I really really wanted a cigarette. The only thing that saved me? Two years, 4 months under my belt and there's no bloody way I'm starting over.

YOU CAN DO IT!!!! (Bit o' hoopla) ;D

Daisy said...

Just picture it-your lungs cheering as you stop loading them with toxins. With your imagination and writing skills, I see a whole new story arising, with two beautiful pink lungs plotting with two very interesting cats.

bill lisleman said...

I remember a post here a few years ago that announced a "quitting". Long ago I would have appreciated your offer to share a smoke. I would have taken you up on it. Today I would ask you to leave the room. Thankfully it was not too hard for me to quit long ago. We have one daughter who still struggles with it. Could it be that some people don't want to be quitters?

Pearl said...

You people are lovely.

And Daisy? Suddenly I very much want to write about my lungs: Louise (la Wheeze) and Poncho, I think I may call them.

Shelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jenny_o said...

Here's an idea, sorta stolen from Simply Suthern. Take a few of those bucks you've saved and find one of those musical birthday cards that plays "I just want to celebrate" or something else appropriate, and carry it with you at all times. Open when needed. Close when those around you start looking at you funny.

Maybe you can also carry the mental picture of non-smokers (like me) in cheerleading outfits, so happy you are still smoke-free . . . nah, that image might drive you to drink instead.

But seriously, I am truly happy there is another non-smoker in our midst. I use a steroid inhaler and have to avoid irritants like smoke. That makes me so thankful for all you hardy folks who have climbed on the smoke-free wagon and stayed there.

GO PEARL!

Shelly said...

Way back in the Mesozoioc Era when I quit smoking, I found some other little orange topped friends that help me- carrot sticks. I know, I know, not quite the same experience, but a substitute nonetheless.

I am rooting for you in a big way. We want you around for a really long time.

joeh said...

I quit for 8 years!!! And then...

Now I have quit for 2+ years so obviously it is an easy thing to do.

My hint...stop drinking (or cut way back), the two go hand and hand. It will get easier, but there are always those days where you just have to gut it out.

Oh, and an occasional cigar is ok.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
RIGHT!!!! Challenge time. As a lifelong asthmatic, I can tell you that singing and chanting OM have been of enormous benefit to my lungs. So here's the thing;

I can OM (without that end of breath waver) for a full 14 seconds without having resorted to puffers.

Your turn... (forget hoopla this is just keep doing it!) YAM xx

Mitchell is Moving said...

I have been forgetting to smoke since Christmas Eve 1986. Maybe I should just quit.

Robbie Grey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robbie Grey said...

Congrats on your abstinence from tobacco-I don't think you midwestern folk would like to be considered quitters;p.

When I stopped, lo a half decade back, I didn't make much of a production of it, because I felt it was doomed to fail. Not a lot of people seemed to notice until almost six months later. I think that's okay.

Luck on your continued forgetting...

Geo. said...

Sometimes it's very refreshing to modify one's habits. I wish you success.

Joanne Noragon said...

Here's to making it this time. LaWheeze and Pancho are hoping you make it.

I took two realizations away with me when I quit five years ago: people who smoke stink. Non smokers know immediately if you smoke and make an instantaneous assessment, to stay near or back away a bit.

Second, you have a lot more money and no trouble spending it on other things.

Go do it, now.

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

I'll bet that anyone and everyone who cares about you would give you a "great big hoopla hug" every time they think about your decision to quit, if only they could remember to do that.

In any case - GOOD FOR YOU !!!!

Roses said...

Well done sweetie.

I'm about 6 months and counting.

I do miss it every now and then...or rather...when I get stressed and need to have my 5 minute break every hour.

Hang in there.

xxxxx

Perpetua said...

If you had to pay British prices, you'd find forgetting to smoke much easier, Pearl. :-) Been there, done that and finally got the t-shirt over 30 years ago. Hang in there - it WILL be worth it.

Charlotte Ann said...

Oh Pearl! I felt the same way..more hoopla...I needed all that hoopla..THE FIRST TIME. When hoopla left the building, I was a sneaky smoker for a while. The second quit, I didn't reallly need the hoopla. I was determined. It's now been 4 years..it will get better for you...just give it another three or 4 months and you'll be amazed at how you seldom think of them...more time...and it gets better still. Hang in there. You will be so proud of yourself!

vanilla said...

Hoopla? I'm not a great cheer leader, but sheer determination will conquer. Hang on. For me, fifteen years this summer. I almost never think anymore about the pleasures, and I don't crave it anymore.

And someday, that extra few bucks...

sage said...

This is a big deal, giving up smoking. There are plenty of other bad habits you can take up that are cheaper and not as bad for your health! Hang in there.

And wow, you either knew the harpooners name or (unlike me--I'm lazy) decided to look it up! :)

Gigi said...

Keep forgetting, my friend. And while you are at it, remind me to forget too!

Lin said...

Oh, that's wonderful to forget!! Keep it up....we are all happy to hear about your success!

Linda O'Connell said...

I have to remember to not chomp chocolate. Kudos

Lo said...

It takes about a month of white knuckling it......then forgetting to smoke becomes not only possible but easier and easier.

After 35 years, I went from 4 packs a day to zero and no pain and that was 30 years ago. I still have a nightmare occasionally in which I light up, cough horribly and then scream, "Oh, no...I just spoiled everything."

Hang in there, darling. It is more than worth it.

W.C.Camp said...

It would be easy to 'Forget to smoke' around here. With all the taxes better than $8 a pack now maybe $10 or so in a few months! Where there's smoke there's BROKE! W.C.C.

HermanTurnip said...

It's funny, but I too used to smoke, back when I was in the Air Force. But the day that I left the AF was the last day I smoked. Just gave it up cold turkey, and never looked back. And when I try to tell people how much fun, how enjoyable the act of smoking is, they look at me like I'm crazy. Trust me, I never want to smoke again, but I fully understand the addiction...

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Not smoking is something that comes easy to me..............but that may be because I don't smoke........lol

Hubby on the other hand is not good at not smoking when he doesn't smoke he is a horrible person to live with and he feels that he is going to die of something so he will smoke if he wants to..........lol

I think when a person stops smoking they will have to do it one day at a time........

Rose L said...

*CLAP CLAP CLAP* WHOOO WHEEE! YOU GO GIRL!! RAH RAH! KEEP IT UP GIRL, YOU CAN DO IT! NO SHIT, YOU CAN QUIT! PROUD OF YA!
Is that enough hoopla?
It is good you are quitting. You will find that you breath easier, air smells wonderful, your skin will improve, your breath smells much better (and so will your clothes), your life will be extended and all will be good.

Lorna said...

I hope you keep forgetting.

Kymbo Whitford said...

The first time you give up you get cheers and slaps on the back... after six or seven attempts though youre lucky to get your family and close friends to congratulate you.
Forget them fags Pearl, they'll break your heart..

jeanie said...

Forgetting works - my grandmother was 89 and had smoked for about 69 of those years, but thanks to Alzheimers she soon was a very adamant anti-smoker (and always had been, according to her mind)...

I went the other way - went cold turkey - the drag my nerves screaming swear words and dip them in acid sort of cold turkey - and that was the best thing about it. Because now when I get the "how about it" thought flitter across my horizon, the memories jump all over that thought and take great joy in kicking it.

The Six-Fingered Monkey said...

I just can't seem to forget.

the walking man said...

Don't worry pearl I'll pull your slack so the tobacco farmers don't go broke.

River said...

Out here in Aus, or should I say here downunder, there's an ad on TV where every time someone says no to a cigarette a little band appears on the tabletop in front of them and plays and sings and cheers. It's very encouraging.

Ian Lidster said...

A further bit of empathy here. You have been hacking my psyche.

Austan said...

I quit last August, started again at Thanksgiving and smoked until New Year's, quit again. Smoked while my daughter visited last month, quit again. I'm just getting to the point of forgetting cigarettes again. I keep telling myself I'm an ex-smoker, when I think of it. It's stinky to me now, so that helps. And the coughing is gone. But yeah, no fanfare...

River said...

P.S. out here in Aus, smokes are about $20 a packet now, the idea behind that is to discourage young people from ever starting the habit.